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Miles McBride’s Game 5 start pays off for Knicks

After back-to-back terrible starts in Indianapolis, Tom Thibodeau made a roster change.

And it was a resounding success.

Miles McBride replaced Precious Achiuwa as the Knicks went small in Game 5 and was a catalyst for Tuesday’s 121-91 victory, dropping 17 points while stifling Tyrese Haliburton with his defense.

It wasn’t a shocking roster adjustment considering Thibodeau used McBride against Achiuwa to start the second half of Game 4, and there were several reasons for the move.

Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton #0 runs down the court as New York Knicks guard Miles McBride #2 chases him during the second quarter. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

The offense was anemic in Game 4 and Haliburton left early.

In Game 5, however, the Knicks’ offense was smooth in the first quarter with 38 points, with McBride dropping nine of his own.

Haliburton was held to three points in the first quarter while being chased by McBride.

Haliburton finished with just 13.

This adjustment also allowed Achiuwa to become the backup center, replacing Jericho Sims, who seemed overwhelmed at that spot in Games 3 and 4.

Pacers guard Tyrese Haliburton #0 runs down the court as New York Knicks guard Miles McBride #2 chases him during the second quarter. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

McBride’s presence as a ball handler also helped free up Jalen Brunson, who reemerged as the star Tuesday with 44 points.

McBride was successful as a starter in the regular season, averaging 17.9 points in 14 games as the Knicks compiled a 6-8 record.

A “realistic goal” for OG Anunoby’s return is the Eastern Conference Finals, according to TNT, which means the forward will be out of Friday’s Game 6 at Indiana.


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“There is a likely goal for a comeback that may be the Eastern Conference final,” reporter Chris Haynes said before the game was broadcast.

Anunoby suffered a strained hamstring in the second game and has not played since.

According to Thibodeau, Anunoby began doing “light work” in the field.

He had only done pool workouts as of the last update on Sunday.

“When he’s ready, he’s ready,” Thibodeau said.

Knicks guard Miles McBride shoots over Indiana Pacers guard Andrew Nembhard during the second quarter. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Apparently, Thibodeau was an idol in college.

At least in his mind.

“He was built like an Adonis,” Dennis Grube, Thibodeau’s former teammate and roommate at Salem State, told ESPN, “and he looked really good in a tuxedo at my wedding. He knew he looked well; he spent a lot of time looking at himself in the mirror.

However, the now 66-year-old Knicks coach never settled down because basketball was his greatest love.

According to the ESPN profile, Thibodeau broke off his engagement two months before the wedding because being married would hinder his basketball career.

New York Post

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